Apple has decided that the new iPods will not work with any media applications other than iTunes. What does this mean? Ultimately, it means that third party applications that might be better (and are likely better) than iTunes will not work with the new iPods that Apple recently announced. A natural side effect of this is that users of operating systems (such as Linux) other than Windows and MacOS X will not be able to use the new iPods as Apple only makes iTunes for Windows and MacOS X.
This is yet another move by Apple to keep their stuff locked into themselves. They try to be all about open source software, but this move locks Linux users out of using the new iPods. Apple started with their operating system that can only be installed on Apple hardware, even though the hardware is the same as any other PC. While there are projects like OSx86, they certainly are not approved or endorsed by Apple and the legality of them is questionable. Apple then moved onto their Fairplay DRM, forcing songs bought at the iTunes Music Store to be played only in iTunes or on an iPod. Now Apple is forcing iPod owners to only sync their media players with iTunes. Apple is slowly proving that they no longer “Think Different” and are no different than other big corporations (Microsoft, for example, as Apple is always touted as the anti-MS). I really think Apple would do themselves a favor if they were to spin off their gadget divisions into a new company and go back to concentrating on computers. I also think they would be doing themselves a huge favor if they were to release MacOS X for all computers as a competitor to Windows. However, they like their proprietary format. Some say it keeps them from having problems with drivers and the like, but I say it’ll help make their products better if they were more open and there were more eyes on the stuff (they might even be able to better cut into the Windows market share).
It might seem like I am an Apple-hater. That is anything but the truth. I just see them for what they are… a big corporation that doesn’t really care about their consumers as much as their die-hard fans like to think they do. I imagine this will be reverse engineered at some point, but even that will be legally questionable under the DMCA.